Marshall Wins at State Farm Competition

Senior Nick Berman Earns First Place for Social Media Presentation

November 14, 2012

For the second consecutive year, a USC Marshall student has won first place in the State Farm National Marketing and Sales Competition.

Nick Berman, a senior broadcast journalism and business administration major from Encino, won the integrated marketing plan portion of the competition, held Oct. 26 at the University of Central Missouri. He finished third overall and earned a $5,600 scholarship for his showing.

Berman’s 20-minute integrated marketing communications presentation required that he advise State Farm on ways it could improve its marketing via social media. The presentation included market research, analysis, a social media plan, as well as components that addressed feasibility, return on investment and cost analysis.

“This competition was an invaluable experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Berman said. “I learned a great deal not only about State Farm and the insurance industry, but also about myself. I was able to fine-tune my research skills, presentation and public speaking abilities, and marketing strategies, and I also was able to network with top students from across the country and the top executives from a Fortune 500 company. It was gratifying to see my hard work pay off.”

The third-annual competition brought together students from nine universities around the country. Also representing USC Marshall was senior Regina Guinto, a business administration and cinematic arts major who received $1,000 for competing.

Adviser Jerry Giaquinta, assistant professor of clinical management communication and associate director of the Center for Global Innovation, said competitors were offered internship opportunities or the prospect of working at State Farm. Berman said he will consider all options after graduation.

“In many ways, Nick embodies the attributes of all Marshall students,” Giaquinta said. “He is highly intelligent, hard working, and he’s self-motivated and an eager learner. I could not have been prouder of both Nick and Regina. They represented USC at the highest level.”